When it comes to luxury watches, you definitely get what you pay for. And in the case of luxury watches, you’re not only paying for looks, functionality, and prestige—you’re also making an investment.
What’s more, it’s an investment that you’ll enjoy far more than any of the electronic or paper varieties!
This is an investment you get to wear, look at—and yes, show off. And unlike a car, which loses a remarkable part of its value the minute you drive it off the lot, a rich watch only appreciates in value with time and use. And unlike a smartphone or technological device, which becomes quickly outdated, there’s no expiration date on a good watch. On the contrary, a vintage watch may be worth considerably more than its initial purchase price.
Whether you’re like us here at Dejaba Jewels and Watches, a devotee of horology (that’s the art of measuring time, by the way) or simply enjoy the better things in life, a beautiful timepiece is functional and valuable at the same time.
3 Tips on How to Make an Investment of a Wristwatch
A fine wristwatch can be an investment in the same way as a rare vintage of wine, a valuable gem, or a prime piece of real estate. Not all investments are made on Wall Street!
- You can purchase a new watch with the knowledge that it will last for decades and gain prestige as a vintage piece in thirty years or so.
- There is also an avid market for vintage watches, so you can start with a piece that has already reached that status.
- In between the extremes of “brand new” and “vintage,” you can spring for a “pre-owned” watch—one that hasn’t yet reached vintage status and can be purchased for less than a brand new model.
As one watch expert suggested to Time magazine, a person’s investment in a great watch should be guided by the attraction of the watch itself. A watch isn’t “a bar of gold,” as he put it. It’s an item with character and appeal that you can enjoy in its own right, even aside from its growing value.
There’s no question that an opulent wristwatch is a great investment. The only question is which brand to choose? Here’s a run-down of the top five investment brands.
The very name “Rolex” is practically synonymous with style and affluence. Many of the innovative inventions in modern wristwatches have been developed by the Rolex brand. From the first water-resistant case to quartz movement, Rolex has been at the forefront of research and development in wristwatches, and has served as the gold standard for class and quality.
Rolex is the single largest producer of luxury watches, and made the Forbes list of most powerful brands globally. Because of its brand recognition, its traditions of more than a century, and its Swiss engineering, Rolex is widely considered the number one investment among wristwatches, with an impeccable pedigree. The sport watches in particular have shown a positive track record in the matter of value retention.
If you thought Rolex had an impressively long tradition, you’ll be bowled over by Patek Philippe’s history. Founded in 1851, this company has been making watches since before people wore them on their wrists! (In fact, the first-ever wristwatch was created by a Patek Philippe watchmaker in 1868, as a custom order for a Hungarian countess.)
Vintage and antique Patek Philippe watches are highly sought after, and the market has been driven even higher by the company’s propensity to buy up its own relics for the museum housed in Geneva. The most expensive timepiece ever sold was a Patek Philippe wristwatch that auctioned at Sotheby’s for twenty-four million U.S. dollars!
Although Cartier does not limit its specialty to wristwatches, it does hold a prominent place in the history of wristwatches, resulting in many vintage and even antique models of interest. Inspired by the aerial view of World War I tanks, Cartier designed his “Tank” watch with a square face and Roman numerals. Over the intervening century, those design elements have remained the same, making the Tank one of the single most recognizable watch models on the market.
As the centennial of its introduction looms, the Cartier Tank is sure to garner a lot of extra attention—and value as well!
Not every luxury watch is made for the ballroom or boardroom, and Breitling makes some great models for the active lifestyle. Take the Superocean Chrono, for example, which rates to an underwater depth of 500 meters and looks sleek and sporty. Whether you’re a diver or just like the look, this watch’s bezel, dials, and Swiss construction are all impressive.
The pilot’s answer to the Superocean is the Navitimer, a line that has held cache since the middle of the last century. For those who feel that vintage Rolexes are old news, vintage Breitlings are the rising stars.
Unlike Rolex, which has kept its product lines relatively few, Omega offers a wide array of different choices in its lines of watches. If you’re looking strictly for investment, this could cause some confusion; it’s hard to predict which models might hold their value or increase over others. But as an investment in your own enjoyment, that wide variety enables you to choose exactly what you want from a watch.
From the sporty-but-classy Seamaster Professional to the quirky-sci-fi look of the Spacemaster, Omega offers designs to suit every style and taste. This brand’s vintage models are rising in popularity as some of their classics come of age.
One of the beauties of investing in a watch is the fact that you can own and use something that holds appeal and value to you personally, as more than just a spreadsheet-figure. Whatever your own personal tastes, whatever you enjoy about history and culture, whatever you want a watch to shout to the world… Now THAT is an investment.